Monday, January 22, 2007


What is “it” that everybody wants? Whatever it is, get “it” on ebay. I’ve never gone to ebay for anything, does that disqualify me as a spokesperson for “it?” For now… was talking about “getting it” in the sense of learning a lesson from Jesus, and I got to thinking, that’s a whole lot better than anything you can buy online.

But there’s another thought that crosses my mind when I think of “getting it.” What a ubiquitous little word! The sense I’m thinking of is what I like to refer to as “the great ahaa!” It’s the point where the knowledge of God clicks in our head and all of the sudden, whatever knowledge we have, finally makes sense. It’s the priceless moment, immediately preceding, “Yes Jesus, I will follow you.”

Having been brought into a right relationship with God, I want to share the unfathomable riches of His grace with everyone! But I can’t. It’s so frustrating! I have found people who came from a similar background, and thought, “Finally, I can tell someone, and explain it in such a way that they are sure to get it.” I’ve been disappointed many times by the result of those conversations.

It’s like Doctor Frankenstein assembling all the body parts, but not being able to infuse the essence of life into his creation. Sadly, the creature remains a corpse until the mystery of the spark of life is resolved.

Doctor Lutzer once took his seminary students on a field trip. I think it was a class from Trinity. He stood over someone’s grave and told the men to preach salvation to that person. They didn’t know how to respond, and the good doctor shoved a student aside, and said, “Fine, if you can’t do it, then I will!” He proceeded to give a brief presentation of the gospel, and then stood there, waiting for a response. Nothing. The students looked at each other, somewhat uncomfortable with the situation. This eccentric professor, tried again, louder, with more passion, and fervor in his presentation. Silence. Then Lutzer’s eyes lit up! He looked at the students, and announced, “I figured it out! I know why this guy isn’t answering the invitation… he’s DEAD!” Duh! Of course he’s dead, that’s why they buried him!

What is a person’s spiritual condition before they come to Christ? Are they sick in their transgressions? Are they comatose in their transgressions? No! They’re dead! Therefore, their spiritual eyes and ears don’t work. Their heart is unresponsive, because it is impossible for the dead to react. Lutzer made his point.

What the unsaved person needs is the quickening (that spark of life) that all of us who live in the world of nonfiction are unable to produce. Only God can create life. God alone can make it possible for the dead to hear.

All of us who have been saved, have the responsibility to keep on telling people about Jesus, but let’s not get proud if we hear someone say, “Yes.” If they get it, God made it happen. He had to, otherwise, “the great ahaa” is absolutely impossible.

Go Bears.


Anonymous said...

Craver, great great post, man! You are touching on some heavy theological stuff here. I know you're doing it, and I have nothing to say about it.

Except I have to point out how much I like this: "It’s like Doctor Frankenstein assembling all the body parts, but not being able to infuse the essence of life into his creation. Sadly, the creature remains a corpse until the mystery of the spark of life is resolved."

Mary Shelley called that book her "hideous progeny." Certainly, it is hideous when we try to claim new Christians as our own progeny.

And apparently, I get to meet you next month when I come visit IVP. Sweet!

Craver Vii said...


Whoa, dude. I think that’s the third or fourth time the cloaking device malfunctioned on my secret identity in just two weeks. I’ve been trying to avoid some of the drawbacks of full disclosure.

For example, your own site has a disclaimer saying that the ideas expressed on your blog are your own and not necessarily that of your employer’s. I use anonymity for that. And I wouldn’t want a person to quickly dismiss a challenging discussion simply because they assume to know where all the people of a particular denomination stand. Hopefully, the less there is to see of me, the more I can point to Christ alone.

But I bet more people know than I expect, so maybe I need to rethink how I want to do this.

It will be neat to finally see my long lost twin. (Folks, I just found out we were separated as infants.) Oh, and I saved your binky.

jazzycat said...

That was a great illustration of a Biblical truth. The elect do not come with a mark on their foreheads, so the external gospel call must go out to all and God will apply the internal call when and how he chooses. Amazing grace...

L.L. Barkat said...

I would like to know what bears have to do with spiritual renewal. (Caution, you may be preaching to the comatose here, if you try to explain!)

Craver Vii said...

Absolutely nothing, LL. I was born and raised in Chicago, and there is an unwritten bylaw that states that if the Bears win the '07 NFC Championship, and thereby are headed to the superbowl in a couple of weeks, all true Chicago sons must intermittently sprinkle "Go Bears." in their written, oral, and electronic communications. Hang-on a sec... here comes another one:
Go Bears.

Anonymous said...

craver vii, have you been following the Bears all throughout the season? You must be a true fan.

And might I add also, Go BEARS!

Craver Vii said...

Welcome, MWE!

Alas, no. I am not a true fan. Sunday was the first game I watched all season. Go Bears.

I was never a big sports fan, and after the '85 team started going their own ways, I felt it was disloyal to the fans. Later, there were strikes from professional sports teams, because the poor dears were not content making millions more than their average fan. That snuffed-out the would-be emergence of any kind of a true sports fan in me. Go Bears.

Sunday, we wanted to visit Mrs. Craver's cousin in Chicago; he and I watched a couple of great games together. But I would never slander a true fan by trying to pass myself as one so hearty as they. Go Bears.

Yes, I'm just a shallow, fair-weather friend, but I'll cheer the home team for all they've accomplished.

L.L. Barkat said...

Bears are nice. Until they want to eat your peanut butter and jelly sandwiches when you're out camping. (So, stick to the tent in the living room. That's my advice.)

Martin Stickland said...

Thanks for making me smile with your clever comments!

Shammickite said...

I don't think you can ever explain "IT" to anyone, we have to find our own "IT" all by ourselves.

Craver Vii said...

Yeah Marty... some people smile; some get mad and throw fruit and vegetables. I wouldn't mind it so much, except for when it's canned fruit and veggies. Thanks for being a pal!

Shammy, that's exactly the thing. We try to explain "it," but unless the Holy Spirit enables the hearer, "it" remains a mystery.

I don't want to put words in your mouth, but there is an understanding of this that says we are equally able to come to our own conclusions. I don't believe that. Then what? People earn the kingdom of heaven by their intelligence or philosophical compatibility? No, but the kingdom of God has come to all kinds of people... the bright and dim, the mean and nice, North and South, etc. I was trying to show that it's totally a God-thing, for which we do not share any credit.

Anonymous said...

Oops. As usual I'm slow to reenter a conversation. Sorry about spilling the beans. I didn't know there were beans to spill. But such clumsiness is not unusual.

About "It" (the original topic), you said, "I was trying to show that it's totally a God-thing, for which we do not share any credit." I agree that we can't take credit, but we do take responsibility. So if God has given me a gift with words, I have a duty to share that gift to serve him. At the risk of an overused bad pun, I have to be responsible for my talents.

I have heard Deut. 30:19 (and other passages) used to explain that God judges us in two ways. Of course, we don't work for salvation. Life is a gift. But we do participate in the work of service that honors God and builds up treasures in heaven to his glory.

As for the Bears, they play football right? Down in the Texas hill country we like our basketball served up with SPURS.

Craver Vii said...

Good call, Hermano! Our free gift does not mean we are without responsibility.

Let’s see, tawwkinn slowwwlyyy, about beans and spurs... That reminds me about one time that I was at a convention in Dallas. (BTW, this is a true story.) My sales partner and I went looking for a steak dinner, but I couldn’t eat real heavy, ‘cause it would keep me awake all night. I noticed that the menu showed how many ounces were in each steak dinner, and decided to go with 10 oz. One problem: it was called “the Cowgirl Special.” (I was wearing a shirt with the logo of the Christian company I represented, but for a moment, I was all Chicago.) When that young whippersnapper waiter took my order, I told him, “I want a 10 ounce steak, but if I hear you refer to this as a Cowgirl Special, we’re going to have a problem.” We all laughed, and he renamed it on the spot.

Anonymous said...

Hilarious! And 10 oz is still 2 oz too big in my opinion.